A disturbing incident has been reported in the town of Ile-Ile, Osun state, where four individuals were reportedly injured in an attack on Muslims while they were praying in a mosque, according to eyewitness accounts, the attackers were traditionalists who were carrying out the Pro ritual.
The attack took place on Thursday evening when the Muslim worshippers were preparing for the 4pm (Asr) prayer. It was reported that the traditionalists had announced the Oro cult would be observed in some parts of Ife between 2pm to 7pm the day before, warning residents to stay clear of those areas.
The traditionalists reportedly thronged the mosque located at Idi-Omo, Ilare around 4 pm and began to disperse the worshippers who were performing ablution inside the perimeter fence of the mosque. Eyewitnesses reported that the Oro adherents entered into the fence and started flogging worshippers with canes, instructing them to leave the ablution area. The Imam of the mosque, Alhaji Abdullateef Adesiyan was also attacked, and it was reported that he was beaten with a cane and hit in the face with a rod.
Abdulazeez Bashir, one of the worshippers in the mosque, recounted the terrifying incident and noted that the situation could have escalated into a big religious crisis when other Muslims began to gather around. However, the traditionalists eventually ran away, and the victims were taken to the hospital for treatment.
The Osun Police Command spokesperson, Yemisi Opalola, confirmed the incident, saying that an investigation has been launched into the mosque invasion. The police have also deployed their men to the scene to maintain normalcy in the area.
This incident is a cause for concern, especially in a diverse country like Nigeria, where there are different religions and beliefs. It is essential for everyone to respect each other’s beliefs and rights and not resort to violence to resolve conflicts. The authorities must ensure that those responsible for this attack are brought to justice, and measures are put in place to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.